Take a Chance on Me, Christiansen Family Series #1   -     By: Susan May Warren
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Take a Chance on Me, Christiansen Family Series #1

Tyndale House / 2013 / Paperback

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Darek Christiansen is almost a dream bachelor-oldest son in the large Christiansen clan, heir to their historic Evergreen Lake Resort, and doting father. But he's also wounded and angry since the tragic death of his wife, Felicity. No woman in Deep Haven dares come near.

New assistant county attorney Ivy Madison simply doesn't know any better when she bids on Darek at the charity auction. Nor does she know that when she crafted a plea bargain three years ago to keep Jensen Atwood out of jail and in Deep Haven fulfilling community service, she was releasing the man responsible for Felicity's death. All Ivy knows is that the Christiansens feel like the family she's always longed for. And once she gets past Darek's tough exterior, she finds a man she could spend the rest of her life with. Which scares her almost as much as Darek learning of her involvement in his wife's case.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2013
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 X 1.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1414378416
ISBN-13: 9781414378411
Availability: In Stock
Series: Christiansen Family

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Publisher's Description

2014 Christy Award winner!
Darek Christiansen is almost a dream bachelor—oldest son in the large Christiansen clan, heir to their historic Evergreen Lake Resort, and doting father. But he’s also wounded and angry since the tragic death of his wife, Felicity. No woman in Deep Haven dares come near.

New assistant county attorney Ivy Madison simply doesn’t know any better when she bids on Darek at the charity auction. Nor does she know that when she crafted a plea bargain three years ago to keep Jensen Atwood out of jail and in Deep Haven fulfilling community service, she was releasing the man responsible for Felicity’s death. All Ivy knows is that the Christiansens feel like the family she’s always longed for. And once she gets past Darek’s tough exterior, she finds a man she could spend the rest of her life with. Which scares her almost as much as Darek learning of her involvement in his wife’s case.

Caught between new love and old grudges, Darek must decide if he can set aside the past for a future with Ivy—a future more and more at risk as an approaching wildfire threatens to wipe out the Christiansen resort and Deep Haven itself.

Editorial Reviews

Widower Darek Christiansen is not pleased when he has to fill in for his brother at a bachelor auction. But love blooms after Ivy Madison, the new assistant county attorney, places the winning bid. Unfortunately, their relationship is threatened by Ivy having arranged a plea bargain three years ago for Jenson Atwood, the man considered responsible for the death of Darek’s wife. VERDICT: Warren’s (“Deep Haven” series) new series launch has it all: romance, suspense, and intrigue. It is sure to please her many fans and win her new readers, especially those who enjoy Terri Blackstock.
RITA Award–winning and best-selling inspirational author Warren takes readers on a journey back to Deep Haven, Minnesota, as in The Shadow of Your Smile (2012). Ivy Madison believes moving to the idyllic town will be her opportunity to start fresh, but she soon learns life in a small world is tricky. Meeting Darek Christiansen complicates her life even further, because her work is intertwined with his past in a way she fears will lead him to reject her. Claire Gibson and Jensen Atwood both love Deep Haven but feel trapped by their pasts. Unable to let go of their pain, they both remain stubbornly convinced that God has turned against them. As Ivy starts to transform Darek’s ways, Claire and Jensen must also learn to change. When disaster threatens the home they all love, they quickly learn what has been truly important all along. Warren once again creates a compelling community full of vivid individuals whose anguish and dreams are so real and relatable, readers will long for every character to attain the freedom their hearts desire.
Warren (The Shadow of Your Smile) returns to the rugged landscape of Deep Haven, Minn., with a spin-off series featuring the Christiansen family. Widower Darek Christiansen is mortified at having to fill in for his hockey-star brother at a charity bachelor auction. Ivy Madison, the new assistant county attorney, moved to Deep Haven in search of the stability that seemed to elude her. She impulsively places the winning bid, unaware of Darek’s past. Darek is equally oblivious to Ivy’s association with Jensen Atwood, a man linked to the death of Darek’s wife. The sons of two well-respected Deep Haven families, Darek and Jensen barely tolerate one another, though once they were best friends. As a romance blossoms between Darek and Ivy, she soon realizes that her connection to Jensen could be the undoing of any future for her budding relationship. Warren lays bare her characters’ human frailties, including fear, grief, and resentment, as openly as she details their virtues of love, devotion, and resiliency. She has crafted an engaging tale of romance, rivalry, and the power of forgiveness.

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  1. Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Take a Chance on This Great Book!
    May 14, 2015
    Shannah
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I am so glad I took a chance on this novel. I absolutely loved it! The story gripped my heart from beginning to end. Following the lives of 3 best friends and a new comer was interesting, exciting, and at times heartbreaking. The events that led each character to where they are at this point in time were each traumatizing in it's own way, but watching them grow, triumph, and overcome their pasts gave me immense satisfaction in the story.

    I loved Ivy, Claire, Jensen, and Darek. Their characters were uniquely complex, though they struggled with much of the same emotions. The author did an excellent job of layering their pasts and presents to add emotional clarity and depth to the story. At times, I felt like Ivy and Darek's relationship was rushed, but it made sense in a way (I know, that's confusing, but that's how I felt). Ivy and Darek have to decide whether or not to take a chance on each other, despite their emotional scars and baggage. Tiger's antics lent a light air to an otherwise deep and emotional plot. I just wanted to squeeze that little boy!

    Each character has to overcome bitterness, anger, and emotional scars that have tainted their lives.Everyone feels like someone else has wronged them at some point in our lives. It's what we do with those feelings that can shape our futures.As the author states in her note to the reader, "we live in a blame world." There is no mercy, grace, or forgiveness. We cannot redeem ourselves. Only God can. That's what grace is. When we accept his grace, we also accept his mercy and forgiveness. Then we can learn to be more like Christ in our lives, forgiving others, and extending mercy and grace to those who we feel have wronged us. Ivy, Claire, Jensen, and Darek each have to learn to accept those things in different ways for their lives to be full of the joy and love the Lord has for them.

    Overall, I loved this story. I can't say enough good things about it and I can't wait to get my hands on the rest of the series.
  2. Canada
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Amazing!
    January 19, 2015
    KavR
    Canada
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Take a Chance On Me, the first in the Christiansen family saga makes for a powerful start to this stunning series. I'm not quite sure where to begin this review. Perhaps to say that this story portrays one of the most moving testimonies of forgiveness that I have ever read. And the strength of the story is in the fact that the author shows the far reaching effects withholding forgiveness has. Not only for the individual harboring resentment and anger, but for all the people surrounding them, both family and friends and even neighbours. In fact, in a way, an entire community has born the burden of one man's unwillingness to forgive. And that man is our hero, Darek Christiansen.

    Tormented doesn't begin to describe Darek. Mired in past mistakes that led to a fatal tragedy, his unwillingness to forgive extends towards himself as well as a friend turned arch enemy. Bitterness and anger are beginning to twine themselves around Darek's heart but he doesn't see it. Not until Ivy Madison shows up on his radar. And mercy, don't get me started on Ivy because she is exactly the wrong person for Darek, or maybe the right person going about it all the wrong way? However you look at it, be prepared for emotional angst that will churn up your tummy and cause you, the hapless reader, no end of heartache.

    This is a true-to-life love story with none of the gnarly bits edited out. But there's incredibly tender moments too. Along with toe-curling love scenes and larger than life family times. And oh the joy of victory! The Apostle Paul's admonishment to "fight the good fight and finish the race" comes to mind when I think of Darek's journey. Not because he did it particularly well, but because he clung on to shrapnels of truth wherever he could find them. Because he was willing to soften his heart as a result. Because he might not have always" kept the faith" during that difficult journey, but he found it again. Truly inspirational.
  3. Appomattox,VA
    Age: Under 18
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Take a chance on Susan...you won't regret it!!
    December 3, 2014
    Nicki Olsen
    Appomattox,VA
    Age: Under 18
    Gender: Female
    *Book Description*

    Ivy Madison had been pre-warned of what she was getting into before she bid on Darek Christiansen. The only problem was, she wasn't getting warned and what Noel had told her was true of Owen Christiansen...not his older, more bitter brother Darek! Shocked at her 'mistake' Ivy endures the grump's attitude. She soon learns that he is, however, not a grump but simply a poor, bitter man with a young son hurting over the loss of his wife and essentially his best friend as well. After a disastrous date, Darek begs for a second chance. Will she be able to give it to him even though she's thought of the man ever since their first unplanned encounter? What she learns plunges her into deep caring for the man but will he let her in? And even if he does, what will he say of her decision to help someone he despises?

    Darek Christiansen didn't want to go to the stupid bachelor auction in the first place. If Owen would be more responsible, he wouldn't even be in this mess. At least he considered it a mess before he got to know the illustrious Ivy...he can't let his gaurd down...or can he? Ivy is cute, funny, beautiful, great with his son, and makes his heart skip. When something unexpected happens, Darek is angry. With the situation and with Ivy. Will he ever get over Jensen Atwood? Or will his anger get the best of him? Will he lose Ivy forever? When a tragedy happens to his dear town, they all must pull together. Can he do it?

    Claire Gibson thinks this is a mistake. To let Jenson in like this. She even accidentally called him by his former nickname, Jens, once. She can't let him in...not after what happened to her dear friend Felicity. Is she actually so dear though? Claire has always been jealous of Felicity. Now she's trying to help Jenson because he slacked off during the first part of his probation. Is she making a big mistake? Or could Jenson be the love of her life? And is she getting Ivy into big trouble with the former town grouch?

    Jenson Atwood knows he's in trouble. In more ways then one. First, his probation is almost up and he still has a whopping, almost 100 hours to go. Now, Claire is entering his life again and he can't get her out of his mind. He knows he's going to have big problems with her grandfather if he hurts her but he can't help it. Even though he didn't do what the town accused him of, he can't be trusted. Or can he? Will he let Claire show him he isn't who he thinks he is? Does he want to know?

    *What I liked*

    This book didn't disappoint in this series. In fact it way exceeded my expectations and will definitely make it's way into my own personal library. Susan has this wonderful habit of intertwining two different romances into the same story and I absolutely love it! I couldn't decide which was better. Darek and Ivy's or Jensen and Claire's romances. Both were beautiful with suspenseful moments and some occasional humor.

    *What I didn't like*

    Honestly, Jensen's thoughts scared me a little in the beginning, like any suspense novel would but eventually, since I read books that come after this one first, the pieces clicked.

    *My Rating*

    *Why my rating is what it is*

    My rating is five stars because it had double the romance, forgiveness, and a really creative story line. Plus, Tiger is SO cute on the cover! ;)
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Such a wonderful book!
    November 26, 2014
    T Cramer
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    What a wonderful book! This is the first book in the Christiansen Family Series and the first book Ive read by this author. Wow Ive been missing out. I absolutely adored this book. This series is about a large family, with all of the children now being adults. It is obvious each book will focus on the adventures of each adult child in the Christiansen family and the life path they take. Take a Chance on Me focuses on the Christiansen firstborn, Darek.

    Darek, or Dare, as his friends and brothers call him, is a young widower with a 5 year old son, Tiger. Darek is living with guilt, regrets, and the struggle to forgive. He meets the new County Prosecutor, Ivy Madison, when she accidentally feels sorry for him and purchases him as a date at a charity auction. Ivy grew up in numerous foster homes and specifically planned her life and career so that she could settle into a small town with a sense of actually belonging somewhere, and possibly belonging with someone. This is a fun romance with a strong theme of taking responsibility for your actions as well as the importance of forgiveness. I look forward to every Christiansen family book to come, as this story gives a brief introduction of each sibling. The character development is just spectacular, making the reader feel a real friendship with the cast. I highly recommend this book!
  5. Maine
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    June 3, 2014
    Cassandra
    Maine
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    I really enjoyed this book. The people were very real, broken and in need of God's grace. I also loved the ending. I think this in one of my favorites.
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